100 Years Ago June 1920
— One of the prettiest parties held in Marin County this season was given on Saturday night by Miss Margot Rudolf, daughter of Judge and Mrs. Rudolf of Novato. The affair took place in their home, which is one of the most attractive ones in the town, being surrounded by gardens, which were brilliantly illuminated with lanterns. Supper was served al fresco at small tables placed in the garden, with dancing in the house and on the broad verandas. About sixty of the younger set of Marin County were present.
75 Years Ago June 1945
— An attraction of more than the usual interest will be the first annual horse show of the Novato Horsemen, Inc., to be staged at the opening of the arena in Novato, Sunday, June 8. The parade will start at 11 a.m. and the arena events at 1 p.m. The Novato Horsemen, Inc., started out with weekly rail riding. Some of the members decided to branch out and buy an arena which is to be opened Sunday with the first horse show. The Horsemen purchased five acres of land on the road to Black Point and have a clubhouse near completion. A corral of eucalyptus poles has been constructed and the bleachers are now ready for Sunday’s show. The parade will assemble at the N.W.P.R.R. depot, at 11 a.m. and proceed up Grant Avenue to the highway, thence to Atherton Avenue to Bugeia Lane to the show at the club grounds.
— Mrs. M.D. Allen, 86, widow of Dr. Allen, died while she slept at the family home on Grant Avenue. Her daughter, Mrs. Golden Ryan, had resided with her and cared for her during her last illness. Born Thressa Fitzgerald in Illinois, she was married to Dr. Allen when quite a young girl. For some years the couple resided at Camp Meeker where Dr. Allen practiced medicine, later removing to Novato where he rented a house on DeLong Avenue and afterward acquired the Aquiar property on Grant Avenue where Dr. Allen erected a building for an office and a home and it was here the aged widow passed to rest.
50 Years Ago June 1970
— Favored Arnold M. Baptiste surged to victory for the North Marin supervisorial post yesterday by defeating his opponent, J. Wayne Womack, veteran city councilman, by a 2 to 1 margin. With the total unofficial vote in, Baptiste received 6,080 votes to Womack’s 3,345, gaining 65 percent of the ballots cast. While registering a strong preference for a pro-planning candidate, a trend evident in the recent city council election, Novato city voters turned down two recreation bond proposals. Prop. N for $82,365,000 to purchase and develop O’Hair park received 3,594 “yes” votes to 3,189 “no’s” for a bare 53 per cent majority approval. However, bond issues need a two-thirds majority vote. Prop. O for a $600,000 community center lost by 2,752 yes votes to 3,972 no votes. Only 41 per cent of the voters approved this issue.
— Water-front townhouses go up on the lagoon at Bahia where some 38 houses and seven lots have been sold by the Hofmann Company of Concord. The first three homes will be ready for occupancy by August 10 while the remainder are expected to be completed by September 14. Some units are presently under construction and around July 1 work on erecting an additional 23 will start.
25 Years Ago June 1995
– Pat Eklund, no stranger to public access television as a member of the Novato Planning Commission for four years, will go prime time beginning next Tuesday when she assumes a seat on the Novato City Council. Novato voters Tuesday chose Eklund to replace Harry Moore on the Novato Council in a special election. Moore left the council with two years still remaining on his term last January when he was elected to the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Eklund, chief of the Office of Underground Storage Tanks for the EPA, received 2,537 votes to best Carole Dillon-Knutson, Judith McClarin, John Coleman and Gail E. Meyers in a five-person race. Eklund received 33.4 percent of the votes cast to 23.3 percent (1,770 votes) for Dillon-Knutson, 22.9 percent (1,742 votes) for McClarin, 10.9 percent (928 votes) for Coleman and 9.5 percent (721 votes) for Meyers.
— Honoring James P. Keane’s commitment to Novato residents as well as to the parish of Our Lady of Loretto Church, the Novato City Council proclaimed Sunday, June 11 “Monsignor Keane Day.” “Monsignor Keane Day” marks the 50th anniversary of Keane’s ordination. Keane became administrator at Our Lady of Loretto in 1975. Two years later he was appointed pastor and has served in that capacity for the past 18 years. At 74, Keane is the oldest active pastor in the San Francisco Archdiocese. Keane feels “blessed” to be able to serve as pastor of Our Lady of Loretto, he said. Following his ordination in 1945, Keane served as pastor at St Anne of the Sunset in San Francisco but feels particularly close to the people of Novato.
— Ed Stark has been elected to the board of directors of Griffiths Insurance. Stark has operated Griffiths Insurance/Novato since 1989. He is a past president of the Northern California Chapter of CPCU, past president of the San Francisco Insurance Forum; past president of the Western Association of Insurance Brokers; recipient of the Insurance Professional of the Year Award and past chairman of the Agents & Brokers Legislative Council. Stark continues to remain active in the local community. He helped implement the Novato Leadership Program of which he is a graduate. He also served on the board of directors of the Novato Human Needs Center and was president of the Novato Chamber of Commerce. Currently, Stark serves on the Novato Youth Center Board of Directors, the Novato Community Hospital Fund Development Committee and is the 1995 chairman of the board of the Northbay Ecumenical Homes. Stark is a recent graduate of the San Francis- co Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program and three-year member of the San Francisco Leadership Council.
(Editor’s Note: This feature highlights Marin history through the pages of the Novato Advance and is compiled by Mark Read of the Novato Historical Society.